Workers in the state yesterday staged a protest against the verification exercise embarked upon by the State House of Assembly to ascertain the actual number of staff in the state.
The workers who were angry over the numerous screening exercises currently going on in the state allegedly drove away members of the Benue state House of Assembly and their consultant who were out to the twenty-three local governments of the state for the staff verification exercise.
It could be noted that following the release of the federal government bailout funds to enable the state clear salary arrears of workers the state government had set various committees to verify the number of staff on payroll of both the state and local government.
Reacting to the incident Speaker of the House, Mr. Terkimbi Ikyange described the act as ignorant on the part of the workers adding that they would soon come back to the Assembly and request for the exercise after they must have realised the overwhelming merits of necessitating it.
He said, “it is unfortunate that our workers failed to understand our good intentions. We heard some people were termed “ghost workers” while they were physically present at the other screen exercises. We wanted to confirm this and many more issues. But as you can see, soon, many who would be sacked would start running to us to intervene. Now, what do you think should be our response?” THE UNION gathered that in about fifteen Local Governments including, Ushongo, Otukpo, Vandeikya, Gboko, Ogbadibo amongst others workers were not seen at the venues designated for the exercise, while in others, they were organised and visibly hostile.
One of the workers who simply gave his name as Titus said “other states have paid the bailout soon as it arrived without any form of screening the Benue state government decided to suffer staff by embark on numerous screening exercises.
“The N28billion was based on the figure we were owed in line with the state’s workforce which was submitted to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). So, why stress the workers where their legitimate earning comes?,” he questioned.
– John Shiaondo, Makurdi